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Go Back   Casebook Forums > Ripper Discussions > Motive, Method and Madness

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  #11  
Old 08-18-2017, 06:25 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
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To be clear, we don't actually know that the Ripper neatly skirted around Chapman's navel, only that a chunk of her belly containing the navel was missing from the scene. This isn't quite the same as "leaving the navel on a tongue of skin", which we get in Eddowes' case. Certainly, there's little else in the manner in which Chapman was dismantled that suggests that a trained hand was responsible; on the contrary, her abdomen was cut open like the crust of a meat pie.
Wasn't the missing flap of skin (which included the navel) part of the piece removed "with one sweep of the knife", as Phillips described it?

Eddowes' navel may have been left on a tongue of skin, but it's hardly a surgical incision, more of a ragged mess.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:55 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is online now
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Wasn't the missing flap of skin (which included the navel) part of the piece removed "with one sweep of the knife", as Phillips described it?
That referred to the pelvic organs (uterus and bladder) and, as a caveat, it's very doubtful that Phillips was quoted directly or whether this was just was just a bit of journalese. The "one sweep of the knife" statement appeared in an article in the Lancet, not as part of Phillips' inquest testimony or in any official source. In fact, this doesn't seem to be a direct quote at all, as can be seen by reading the entire article here.

The "sweep of the knife" statement is often presented as if Phillips was "interviewed" by the Lancet, or that he contributed an article to the journal, etc. Neither is true. It strikes me that this was an "editorial" or "opinion" piece by a Lancet journalist, in which he summarised what he'd heard or seen published elsewhere. So, there's a real possibility that those famous words didn't come from Phillips at all.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:04 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
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Yes, apologies Sam, my memory let me down. I was thinking of this report from the Echo, which isn't a direct quote;

"It was evident, continued the witness, that these absent portions, together with the incision in the large intestine, were the result of the same excising power."

Which isn't quite as dramatic as the lancet's interpretation.
It's also not clear whether these missing parts included the third flap of skin, probably not on reflection. I don't know what to make of Phillips' apparent coyness over this third flap;

"Dr. Phillips (missing) - The abdominal wall had been removed in three portions, two taken from the anterior part, and the other from another part of the body. There was a greater portion of the body removed from the right side than the left. On placing these three flaps of skin together, it was evident that a portion was wanting."

It's worth noting that he says one side had more removed from the right side...is that because that was the side from which the killer worked?
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:09 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is online now
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It's worth noting that he says one side had more removed from the right side...is that because that was the side from which the killer worked?
Got it in one. Annie's left side was nearer the fence, so working from the right hand side would have been the natural thing for him to do.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:28 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
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Got it in one. Annie's left side was nearer the fence, so working from the right hand side would have been the natural thing for him to do.
I'm glad you understood what I meant there. My post should have read "the abdomen had more removed from the right side".

Do you think Phillips' failure to specify the location of the third flap means it was too rude to say even after the women and children had left the room? Or something else?
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:46 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is online now
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Do you think Phillips' failure to specify the location of the third flap means it was too rude to say even after the women and children had left the room?
Possibly. Two flaps from the anterior part of the abdomen and "another" from the... well, "posterior" flows naturally from "anterior" and sounds slightly rude, but there's no "posterior abdomen" as far as I know. I'd suggest, therefore, that the missing term was "pubic region", which is that part of the abdomen that extends from below the navel to just above the external genitalia. I daresay that "pubic region" might have been deemed a little too risqué for Victorian ears!
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Old 08-18-2017, 09:47 AM
Pierre Pierre is offline
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Got it in one. Annie's left side was nearer the fence, so working from the right hand side would have been the natural thing for him to do.
So Chapman was not movable but Kelly was?
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:15 AM
Sam Flynn Sam Flynn is online now
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So Chapman was not movable but Kelly was?
He doesn't appear to have moved Nichols or Eddowes, either. What with time-pressure and and the public locations, why faff about with moving the bodies around, when he could cut them open just as easily, and get the job done more quickly, from one side?

Such restrictions didn't apply at Miller's Court, so he was free to move the body about if he so chose.
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:02 AM
Joshua Rogan Joshua Rogan is online now
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So Chapman was not movable but Kelly was?
Unlike with Kelly, there's no evidence that shows Chapman was moved. As with the other outdoor victims, there was nothing to impede the killer of Chapman getting into a comfortable working position, whereas Kelly was killed on the far side of her bed, meaning the killer needed to move her closer or risk putting his back out.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:51 PM
kjab3112 kjab3112 is offline
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It should be noted that for a right handed surgeon (or knifeman) the right hand side of the patient (or victim) is easiest to open the abdomen using a standard midline incision. Kelly's wall would have made things awkward without moving her

Paul
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